What Apple did in response to all of the negative press around Apple Maps? They didn’t give up, they got to work, kept at it for years, and are still working hard today!
Apple Maps first launched in iOS 6 to much excitement. Previously, Google Maps had powered the iPhone maps experience, but the relationship between Apple and Google became strained as Google held critical features of the mapping experience from the iPhone. If you remember back to that period, Google Maps on the iPhone didn’t even have built-in turn-by-turn directions. Apple began the process of replacing Google Maps with Apple Maps and unveiled its work during the WWDC 2012 keynote.
Unless you are too young, you’ll remember that the Apple Maps launch wasn’t great. It was so bad that Tim Cook had to apologize to customers for the poor experience. While I enjoyed the visual experience of Apple Maps over Google Maps, the initial mapping data (licensed from TomTom) wasn’t nearly as accurate as Google’s data.
It even ultimately led to a massive executive shakeup at Apple. Do you know what Apple did in response to all of the negative press around Apple Maps? They went to work on making it better. They’ve made it better year after year. They’ve invested in the design. They’ve added new features. They brought it to the Mac. They brought it to Apple Watch (which is excellent for walking around a new city). They built out Maps Connect so that businesses could manage their data. They even started creating their own mapping data. We learned back in 2018 that Apple was rebuilding Maps from the ground up.
Apple has shown persistence… Google’s product strategy has often been to throw a lot of things at the wall to see what sticks and kill the rest (see Google Buzz, Wave, Google+, etc.). If Google had launched a mapping product in 2012 with the same problems as Apple, they would have canned the project within a year.
MacDailyNews Take: We don’t call Google “Our Lady of Transitory Endeavor” for nothin’!
Apple’s persistence on this project highlights the importance of owning accurate mapping data and being independent when it comes to apps that are considered mission critical, this goes which goes far beyond the Maps app into things like autonomous driving, AR, VR, and beyond.